IHC summons health secretary over 'disturbing' doctors during pandemic

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IHC summons health secretary over 'disturbing' doctors during pandemic

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ISLAMABAD: 

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) expressed its annoyance at the health ministry on Thursday for issuing directives against doctors in pending cases despite court orders, and summoned the health secretary.

The court had restrained the health ministry from issuing any directives against doctors in light of the current coronavirus pandemic.

Doctors are on the front lines against coronavirus, the entire world is saluting doctors, remarked IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah. “Why are you disturbing medical professionals during this time,” he asked.

“The attitude of the health ministry is non-serious even during the current situation,” he said.

The chief justice expressed his annoyance at the health ministry compelling doctors to visit courts during this time.

The health ministry is playing games with the court and with the general public, he observed.

Addressing the representative of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) hospital, who sought permission to speak, Justice Minallah said that it wasn’t his fault.

The court had refrained from ruling in doctors’ cases so that they would not be disturbed, remarked Justice Minallah.

The petitioner’s lawyer informed the court that it was section officer within the health ministry who handled all matters.

Irked at the behaviour of the health ministry, the court summoned the health secretary on June 12.

On May 31, it was reported that the ministry of national health services was looking toward “mobilising” retired doctors, young and on house-job doctors as well as the final year medical students to deal with the soaring number of Covid-19 cases in Pakistan.

During the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza informed the participants that “his ministry was planning to mobilise retired doctors of public sector hospitals, young doctors, doctors on house jobs, and the final-year medical students to cope with the situation”.